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Theme 1: Sustainable Environment

Sustainable lighting design for libraries

Prof Koli CHEN, Professor in Architecture Department, Tunghai University, Taiwan

In a time when energy conservation and environmental protection are considered important, sustainable design is a major step towards sustainable development for libraries. However, the traditional ways in which lighting is designed and implemented in most libraries do not suit the needs of a digital era in which both paper and computer screens are frequently used mediums for reading. This article addresses this issue and makes several suggestions.

Environmental sustainability – a marketing tool for libraries

Dr Petra HAUKE, Assistant Lecturer, Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

Environmental awareness does not necessarily mean huge library’s financial efforts or a large budget. Ecological Sustainability as an underrated aspect for the marketing strategy of a library has more influence on clients and on stakeholders than one would expect. Passionate library users are calling on libraries not just to provide common services but to interact with a clear green identity. Libraries as pathways for knowledge and education are notably responsible not only to spread the idea of going or being green but to give an example as a demonstration vehicle. Environmental sustainability can serve as part of the marketing strategy of the library as a social accountable body. Just small steps in going green can make a big impact for the library’s image. Little financial input can bring effectual marketing outcome. Cooperation with outstanding partners like NGOs, friends of the library, library suppliers, school projects and last but not least the library users can work well to fulfill ecological demands on one hand and to convince stakeholders, customers and the public on the necessity of “going green” on the other hand. The paper will present examples from academic libraries of different countries from all over the world, dealing with ideas to gain recognition with a green identity that conveys an attractive market image. There is a wide range of examples promoting the idea of the GREEN library: Environmentally friendly or recycled materials, virtual user services, resource-saving copy-services, waste separation, elimination of plastic bags, no more paper cups but recycled/private china, fair-trade coffee in the library’s coffee shop, green events and choosing library suppliers with green certificates – or are working to get one of those.

If you build it, will they sort it? Composting in the academic library learning commons

Prof Uta HUSSONG-CHRISTIAN, Science Librarian, Oregon State University Libraries & Press, USA

Sustainability initiatives in the library learning commons have long included paper and container recycling. But for those libraries that allow food consumption in study and learning spaces, collection of compostable food scraps and compostable food receptacles is not yet the norm. Tapping into the libraries’ core value of Sustainability, librarians at Oregon State University set out to implement a composting pilot project in the Library Learning Commons, the most heavily used space in The Valley Library. In Spring of 2015, the Library partnered with Campus Recycling services to conduct a 24-hour waste audit of all trash collected on its main floor. The results showed that over one third (35% by weight) of the trash collected during the audit period was compostable. With this much compostable waste going to the landfill each day, librarians set out to divert that waste into the existing campus composting program at Oregon State University. Preparations included centralizing waste collections points, researching and acquiring compostable bin liners, developing educational signage and promotional materials, and even running a pre-pilot which collected 74 pizza boxes in 4 days (!) during Spring 2015 finals week. Unexpected and ongoing challenges of implementation include reducing contamination in the composting bins, devising the appropriate displays to show students how and what to sort into the compost bins, and even convincing building custodial services that emptying 4 bins several times a shift is less work than emptying 40+ bins once per shift. If you build a library composting program, students will try to use it…some more successfully than others. This program will share lessons lived and learned on the way to developing a more sustainable way to handle compostable waste in the library learning commons.

Built to succeed: sustainable learning environment at UC Merced Library

Mr Haipeng LI, University Librarian, University of California, Merced, USA

As the first new research university campus of the 21st Century in America, University of California, Merced, from its very beginning, has embraced principles of a green campus from ground up — sustainable economic, social and environmental systems that preserve the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. UC Merced is the only campus in the nation with LEED certification for all its facilities.

The UC Merced Library, which won the gold certificate in Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EBOM) in 2015, in addition to being awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, is one good example of how building a sustainable environment can support sustainable learning.

Sustainable features of the UC Merced Library include:

  • Installation of water conserving fixtures to save potable water by up to 30% beyond the required Energy Efficiency Standards in California (Title 24).
  • An HVAC (heating, cooling, fans & pumps) system free of CFC-based refridgerants or HCFCs to reduce ozone depletion.
  • Automatic regulation of interior lighting and HVAC systems to reduce energy costs by up to 47% beyond the required Energy Efficiency Standards in California (Title 24).
  • Use of buildings materials containing recycled content e.g. structural steel, insulation and carpet (up to 13.61%) and recycling of construction waste (87%).
  • Use of materials that minimize indoor air contaminants to be fully compliant with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) limits as required by the South Coast Air Quality Management District and Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
  • Daylit areas maximized for comfortable work and study conditions and to further reduce energy costs.

The UC Merced Library is built to support active and constructive learning through its sustainable design as an open, collaborative and welcoming learning environment. This presentation will illustrate how the UC Merced Library as a sustainable environment supports sustainable learning for the future.

More than just a green building – developing green strategies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library

Ms Louise JONES, University Librarian, Chinese University of Hong Kong Library, HK
Ms Winky WONG, Head of Library Administrative Services, Chinese University of Hong Kong Library, HK

“Go Green” are the two buzzwords embraced almost by all kinds of organizations including business enterprises and universities in recent decades. Academic libraries, as a key service unit in their parent institution, have an important role to play in supporting this mission. We have seen many academic libraries strive to achieve sustainability by designing a “green library”, whether a new build or renovation. However, it has been pointed out that there are very few academic libraries in the United States that are LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified. We argue that due to practical limitations, pursuing a green building may not be the strategic focus for many academic libraries. “Go Green” impacts not only our attitudes towards the environment but also changes the way academic libraries serve their users. Therefore, to achieve sustainability through feasible measures, academic libraries need to formulate and develop their own green strategies which manage wider sustainability issues than simply a green building.

This paper discusses how the Chinese University of Hong Kong Library (CUHK Library) formulates, develops and implements its green strategy and how the strategy has gradually reshaped its services. First we offer a general discussion on how the concept of sustainability has affected services provided by academic libraries, and why green strategies are a practical and feasible approach. We then cite the CUHK Library as a case study, putting the development of its green strategies in the context of the Library’s strategic plan and the Library’s cooperation with other units and departments in the CUHK community. The third section describes how the Library implements the green strategies in different areas, to daily operation of library offices and various services offered to the library users, as well as planning of a library extension. Issues of evaluation are discussed and we conclude the paper with future plans.

Sustainability – it’s everyone’s job

Mr Edward SPODICK, IT and Services Infrastructure Manager, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, HK

Sustainability in building architecture and planning continues to grow in importance, and in the awareness of both designers and users.  Most of the focus seems to be on the macro level of the overall building design, with only a few efforts targeting more micro-level aspects.  The slogan of “reduce-reuse-recycle” has been around for decades and rightfully impacts efforts at paper and plastics processing and reduction.  But too often there is little focus on sustainability efforts beyond the two poles of new building design and the recycling of consumables.  It is also important to position sustainable planning and design throughout the various Library processes, with an emphasis on issues relating to the physical building and infrastructure.  Having a slogan, like “Sustainability – It’s Our Shared Responsibility” will be ineffective without making it part of concrete elements like expected job duties, and incorporating it as an expected element of process design.

Sustainability efforts at HKUST Library will provide examples throughout.  Many involve cooperative endeavors between the Library and the campus Facilities Management Office and various design teams.  Others come directly from user and staff suggestions, and from awareness raised through the collection of data from centralized defect reporting.

Specific examples explored will range from making sustainability part of furniture tendering to establishing a Library-wide standard process for reporting building defects – both leading to an improved learning environment and an improved standard of facilities quality and care.

The ‘Castle of Light’: green technologies of the new National Library of Latvia building

Mr Andris VILKS, Director, National Library of Latvia, Latvia

On 12 June 2014 the new building of the National Library of Latvia or the ‘Castle of Light’, opened its doors for its public for the first time. It is one of the most significant 21st century projects in Latvia, and it serves as a modern and multi-functional centre for culture, education and research. It was designed by internationally acclaimed Latvian-born American architect Gunnar Birkerts (Gunārs Birkerts), who has a deep understanding of the essence, tasks and necessities of a library building. He has thus created an expressive form and a highly functioning body. The ‘Castle of Light’ was a challenge both to the constructors, as well as for the library professionals in attaining the requirements of a new library model. Although the first sketches of the building were created quarter of a century ago, the building is very modern from the technical point of view, as the technical project was finalised in late 2000s.

From the very beginning the building was designed to be as efficient and as green as possible. The heart of the building is the advanced Building Management System (BMS), which monitors and automatically adjusts the climate in the building. It controls both heating and ventilation systems, adjusting the temperature, humidity and other parameters of climate according to predefined climate profiles, which take into account both the type of the zone (Staff Area, Reading Rooms, Event Spaces, Storages) and other aspects, such as the season and the working hours, and responds in real-time to the changes in climate. It is complemented by monitoring of oxygen level in high-usage areas, allowing to automatically increase the air supply during events and decrease it when the spaces are not used. The electro motors change their working frequencies depending on the actual usage. The lighting is also managed by the BMS monitoring system, which allows, for example, to turn the lights in staff areas off as soon as they are not used.

One of the most innovative systems implemented in the building also takes care about the temperature. The heating systems maintains a constant +15 degrees Celsius temperature, and the extra heating is provided by air recuperation technology – the hot air, coming out of the rooms, heating the cold one entering them. Another innovative solution – compressors of the ventilation system are cooled by through-flow water from the nearby Daugava River. However, the green technologies have not been implemented just for the sake of being green – for example, the idea of using solar panels was discarded after careful calculations that the current generation of technology will not be able to recuperate the investments. All these solutions allow to consider the ‘Castle of Light’ to be a green library building in Europe. Indeed, last year it was nominated to the second round of the prestigious international MIPIM award in the category of ‘Best innovative green building’.

Theme 2: Sustainable Resources

The HKUST Ancient Map of China Collection – the next step: from digital images to GIS and datamining

Dr Marco CABOARA, Digital Scholarship & Archives Manager, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, HK

In the early 1990s, the Library of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology began to establish a special collection – Antique Maps of China. With the focus on European maps of China produced between 16th to 19th centuries – this was a unique collection in the region. Today the collection consists of about 100 individual maps and 2 atlases, mainly in western languages, such as Latin, Italian, French, Dutch and English. This collection has samples of almost all maps of China produced by European cartographers from the 16thto 19thcenturies, vividly recording the long history of cross-cultural exchanges between China and the West.

In 2003, a print catalog for this collection “China in European Maps – A Library Special Collection” was compiled. This catalog includes concise descriptions highlighting the intrinsic value of individual maps, the translation of map titles into English and Chinese, and indexes. To prepare for publication, all maps were photographed and converted into PDF files, put it online for open access. An interface was designed for searching and retrieval. User could search by name of the map maker, title and geographic regions. Links to the images of these maps were added to the library online catalog. The roll out of this database did attracted more uses on our collection.

In 2012, we received a donation supporting digitization of the special collections, including maps, travelogs, rare books, and thread bound books and all maps scanned in high resolution. The digital images are available for online viewing via our Rare & Special e-Zone and a selected number has an accompanying detailed description. In addition to standard indexes, such as map maker, title, and geographic regions, all keywords in the record are searchable.

While this has made the HKUST one of the most important and widely accessed collection in East Asia, the present trend of digital cartography requires to go far beyond these achievements; what is now required is to annotate and translate all the information on the map, from place names to lengthier descriptions, link them to Geographic Information System (GIS) and make them searchable for data mining foremost by Chinese scholars interested in the maps but not familiar with the languages used, and also by western scholars not specialized in China studies.

The author will discuss a project to annotate the maps by using “Recogito”, a Web-based tool for annotating place references in early geospatial documents, in terms of textual input, access and intended audience.

Making strategic combinations/consolidations to ensure sustainable relevance

Prof John MEADOR, Inaugural Dean of Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Sustainable really means survivable and for libraries that means remaining relevant by continuously adding value to the user experience. However, in a period of flat or reduced budgetary support, this means reconfiguring the library organization to reduce expenses in “back office” operations in order to shift funds to support value-added mass customization of discovery and delivery. Instead of retaining duplicative stand-alone operations, libraries need to make strategic combinations by moving some functions such as acquisitions and cataloging from collaboration to consolidation. (I will provide examples of how Binghamton University Libraries, State University of New York, supplied shelf-ready books to other SUNY libraries that eliminated their cataloging departments. Also, I will cite progress in my present task of merging and integrating academic and health science libraries at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In addition to my personal examples, I will cite other collaborative efforts among other academic libraries that may lead to consolidation, such as 2CUL.)

The information industry serving libraries has been consolidating for a number of years, with the pace of mergers and acquisitions increasing significantly in 2015. Digital convergence supported by cloud-based systems is bringing together former competitors to build comprehensive megacorporations serving as one-stop shops for libraries offering content as well as the ILS to manage content and discovery tools to identify content. (I will provides examples of these mergers and cite corporate strategy.) This consolidation reflects the private sector’s approach to sustainability in a mature marketplace. Libraries will be well advised to follow suit, if for no other reason than to leverage their buying power against such large corporations.

Finally, I will discuss ways “mass customization” of user services can retain each library’s unique brand despite having consolidated back office operations.

Bringing excellence and innovation to and through student employment: how employing the student voice leads to a better holistic student experience and propels sustainable growth with sustainable resources

Ms Sumiyati OETOMO, Acting Team Leader, Student IT, University of Melbourne, Australia
Mrs Karen KEALY, Associate Director, Information Services and Library Spaces, University of Melbourne, Australia

In order to reconcile the conflicts between growth and sustainability we should think differently about the phrase, ‘finite resources.’ If we are going to be capable of embracing the need for radical change, how should we approach this? (NMC 2015, p. 30). What happens if academic libraries and their leadership consider the future through the eyes of William Blake?

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a
Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour”

The University Library is the largest employer of University of Melbourne students and employs over 60 students as part of its Student Employment program. There are two streams within the program: the Student IT Intern program which has operated since 2001, and the Student Library Assistant Program which has been in operation since 2010. Student IT provides students with real world experience trouble-shooting information technology problems. Student Library Assistants provide students with real world information science experience. Both streams implement a peer-to-peer model of customer service, and consequently open a channel of communication between the student body and the University Library that would otherwise not exist.

The Library has been fortunate to have employed these students over a period of years and has gained insight into the students’ experience, what it means to be a student on campus and how the Student Employment program has benefited both students and Library. The program is evaluated annually with feedback from the students about their experience and how it can be improved. In response, better stewardship of library services is developed to enrich the experience of students on campus and other library users.

This paper will explore the benefits and approaches of these strategic programs. The diversity of services, roles, and approaches used through workforce planning, training, and methods used to evaluate students’ experience including peer to peer learning and employability skills attained through on the job learnings allow us to leverage a “finite resource.”

We examine the dual role student employment plays in the library to reveal how the individual student’s experience is improved by on campus employment, and how the student role as staff members contributes to and drives improvement in the broader student experience by creating a new channel of communication. The finite term of employment creates impetus for us to encourage them to add to the infinite edge of knowledge. The finite number of students employed also provides us with the opportunity to explore initiatives for all students that can drive strategic priorities.

Sustaining a library digitisation program: the UOW experience

Mr Michael ORGAN, Manager Repository Services, University of Wollongong Library, Australia

Digitisation of library and archival collections has recently been facilitated by improvements in digital storage technologies and related scanners and software. However the success of such initiatives is also contingent on the financial and staff resources available to make best use of these new and evolving digitisation opportunities. The University of Wollongong Library has, since 2011, undertaken a comprehensive digitisation program which has seen a changing landscape in regards to budget allocations, technological requirement and staffing. Scholarly and popular journals, theses, books and historic archival collections have been digitised and made available on open access as part of this project. However, within an environment of budgetary constraints and diminishing staff resources, adaptions to the program have been necessary. This has in some measure been mitigated by the developing expertise of individual staff members and the select use of outsourcing based on assessment of overall efficiency, effectiveness and cost. A sustainable digitisation program is achievable during such periods of constraint if supported by a detailed and strategic digitisation plan and the willingness of the organisation to accommodate opportunities which arise in regards to high profile projects, changing priorities or extensions to deadlines.

Sustainable growth with sustainable resources: using change management, participative consultation, and grassroots planning for a new future

Ms Charlene SORENSEN, Interim Associate Dean (Services to Libraries), University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Ms Rachel SARJEANT-JENKINS, Interim Associate Dean (Client Services), University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Purpose: This paper examines the use of change management methodology to implement a new planning process, allowing an academic library to respond to the changing information environment within existing resources.

Changes in research, teaching, learning, and scholarly communications create opportunities for libraries and librarians to re-imagine themselves. Those same changes lead to shifting strategic priorities as our institutions try to respond in a timely and fiscally-responsible manner. In these exciting and challenging times, libraries need to accomplish two things:

  • Respond to changes in the information landscape in a proactive but manageable way (sustainable growth) – based on expressed needs of learners and researchers combined with those services librarians know can and should be delivered through the academic library; and
  • Work with our existing librarian cohort in responding to those changes (sustainable resources) – recognizing that new activities and approaches are necessary in order to remain relevant on campus, perhaps resulting in developing or upgrading librarians’ skills.

At the University Library, University of Saskatchewan, we chose two complementary approaches to meet the challenge of sustainable growth with sustainable resources – a new planning process underpinned by change management methodology.

New planning process: The University Library has a well-established strategic planning process but wanted to more overtly align its priorities with the university’s core mission of teaching & learning and research, and with the collections that support that mission. To that end, we developed three “thematic” plans – Teaching & Learning, Research Support, and Collections – to determine innovative service priorities, help shape the strategic plan, and lead to changes in the library’s overall approach and in all of our work. The thematic plans have an assessment component, providing a structure for reporting back to the university on our activities and demonstrating our value through direct linkage to the university’s core mission.

Change management: Even the smallest change can be difficult to implement if people are comfortable with the status quo. We recognized that the only way to successfully undertake change of this magnitude – offer new innovative services through our existing librarian complement – was to introduce change management to our organization. Through a planned change management approach, our goal was to:

  • Build an understanding of the reasons for change, both among librarians and more broadly throughout the library;
  • Involve librarians in shaping the change;
  • Help library employees understand the steps required for change to happen and how the change will impact them; and,
  • Ensure communication throughout the process and input and consultation wherever possible and appropriate.

A robust change management approach brought our librarians and other library employees along with us as we transitioned into the new planning process and began developing librarian skills to meet the changing needs of the academic information environment.

Using change management techniques in conjunction with consultative strategic planning, the University Library at the University of Saskatchewan has been able to respond to the changing information environment within its current staffing levels. This experience provides a possible approach for academic libraries aiming to achieve sustainable growth with sustainable resources.

The changing landscape of research library collections: ensuring realistic sustainability

Mr Daniel C. TSANG, Data Librarian and Asian American Studies/Politics/Economics Bibliographer, University of California, Irvine, USA
Ms. Julia M. GELFAND, Applied Sciences/Engineering/Public Health Librarian, University of California, Irvine, USA

Fiscal pressures at academic and research libraries increasingly dictate new practices and cost justifications regarding library spending for collections. Space allocations for existing and future collections seems to be challenged by campus administrations as they perceive the digital environment as replacing the need for print and physical resources. Collecting and managing library resources for future research needs are being discounted as non-critical, replaced by a narrow focus on meeting current needs. Global initiatives promoting open access to new scholarship are often unfunded mandates, and challenge libraries to maintain current practices of blending new information outputs from a wider range of publishing options. This presentation will explore what kinds of long-term solutions for sustainable funding can protect and continue the important role of academic research libraries as they struggle with how to retain traditional yet critical functions of collection stewardship while expanding to embrace new expectations as the academic landscape shifts.

Perceptions that libraries are no longer retaining physical collections suggest that library staffing and the need for physical space can be reduced when in fact the transitions to more digital assets and maintenance require new and different staffing models, skill sets, and space for users and staff alike. The financial commitments shift to greater needs than expectations of reduction. The translation of this scenario explores how “Just in Case Collecting vs Just When Needed” is being addressed by libraries and how publishers and information providers are changing acquisitions and licensing models of their products in variable formats. The impact of greater subscription offers, packages, reliance on aggregators are all examples of this trend on a global scale. Academic leaders, faculty and librarians are continually exploring how best to handle open educational resources (OER) and respond to the changing role of the textbook, which has seen steep price increases.

Digital collections require additional attention and resources to handle web archiving, promote the digitization of legacy collections previous contained in microform or newsprint and other media, and offer challenges in incorporating born digital content released on a range of platforms utilizing multiple technologies. Academic libraries are taking the lead in responding to scholarly outputs or mandates and incorporating best practices in how to establish and utilize repositories, the open access movement and research data management. There are new opportunities for streaming media and multimedia while libraries learn to respond to format obsolescence and migration, which contribute to additional costs in collection management. The more complex processing issues of electronic resources have forced library reorganization efforts to consider how to achieve efficiencies in time on task, reduce costs, mainstream staff and get the product to the user when needed.

This presentation offers new ideas in how sustainable practices derived from management, logistics, and library practice can apply to new thinking about roles for collections in academic research libraries and address how libraries are exploring laudable new roles as publishers as well as stewards of previous generations of scholarship.

Towards sustainable partnership: examining cross perceptions of public and technical services academic librarians

Mrs Cathy WENG, Head of Cataloging, The College of New Jersey, USA
Dr Erin ACKERMAN, Social Sciences Librarian, The College of New Jersey, USA

Public services (PS) and technical services (TS) librarians play equally crucial roles in providing library services to meet user needs in support of institutional goals. Historically, this so-called “Primal Division” or “Great Divide” points to the essential distance between the type of work, priorities and goals of PS and TS librarians. However, such divisions can inadvertently create barriers to communication and understanding between colleagues, leading to counterproductive discord. Library services may even be compromised as a result. In order to deliver and maintain sustainable services to the library community, it is important for PS and TS librarians to have a better understanding of one another’s perspectives, value, and needs. The goal is to pave the way to a successful and sustainable partnership.

To support better understanding and improve the relationship between PS and TS librarians, this study sought to learn how librarians in the two areas currently perceive or stereotype each other. Studies have shown that negative perceptions can lead to a low professional self-image and low work status, thus creating an unsatisfying and unproductive work experience. For the purpose of the study, the authors conducted a survey in 2014 asking about the perceptions that public and technical services librarians have of one another. Over 500 academic librarians responded to the survey.

Among the noticeable findings of the survey research were shared recognition of the value of colleagues in other fields, persistent stereotyping among librarians, and a desire for more cross-field conversation and collaboration to promote better understanding of one another and provide greater support to library users. Both public and technical services librarians understand and recognize the significant roles that their colleagues play in fulfilling institutional goals. Barriers to collaboration remain, however. When both groups were asked about the perceptions they thought PS librarians had of TS librarians, TS librarians’ responses revealed that they expected to be viewed more negatively than the responses of their PS colleagues indicated. For example, a vast majority of TS respondents (73.4%) agreed or strongly agreed that they were perceived by their PS colleagues as “car[ing] too much about MARC records,” whereas in reality less than half (45%) of PS respondents actually held such a perception. Our paper considers potential reasons for this discrepancy, as well as its consequences for library organizations. This survey represents a timely intervention into recent discussions of librarian stereotypes by investigating the perceptions librarians have of each other and considering how factors such as years of career experience and institution type may influence these perceptions.

The current study critically examines perceptions and stereotypes of library colleagues. It identifies areas of agreement and shared concern among PS and TS librarians. Through the survey findings, we hope to alleviate some misunderstandings and misconceptions between public and technical services librarians so that mutual trust can be built to achieve a sustainable partnership and better serve patrons.

The academic librarian as the missing link: sustainable leadership and the discipline of librarianship for a 21st century profession

Dr Vicki WILLIAMSON, Dean, University Library, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

This paper addresses all four conference themes by addressing the critical theme of professional practice knowledge, skills, and abilities for 21st century academic librarians. Drawing on the results of a national human resources research study recently completed for the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), this paper asserts that sustaining and growing the environment of academic librarianship, through sustainable resources, technology, and services can only be successfully achieved through effective leadership and sustainable workforce strategies at both the institutional and sector levels.

Selected aspects of two national Canadian workforce studies (the original 8Rs Study from 2005 and the 8Rs Redux Study of 2015) will be discussed in terms of proposing what is needed to sustain the academic librarian in the dynamic information environment in which 21st century academic libraries operate.

As the academic library environment progressively demands new librarian roles, and challenges a generally younger workforce, how will library leaders and the profession generally respond to ensure the continuation of a viable and sustainable discipline of librarianship and a positive future for academic libraries worldwide?


8R’s Redux Study (2015) –

The Future of Human Resources in Canadian Libraries (2005) –

Theme 3: Sustainable Technologies

Leaning into sustainability at University of Alberta Libraries

Mr Gerald BEASLEY, Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian, University of Alberta, Canada
Ms Trish ROSSEEL, Associate University Librarian, University of Alberta, Canada

Operational efficiency and income generation are two under-explored yet critical elements underpinning the environmental and financial sustainability of 21st century academic libraries. In this paper, we will highlight the application of lean design principles to two unique projects at the University of Alberta Libraries.


Academic libraries are in the midst of great transition and innovation. Exciting opportunities exist to design new buildings, leverage collections through digitization, and develop new services such as measuring research impact. These new opportunities come with costs, and reviewing how best to implement them within the context of lean design can provide insights into how best to utilize resources to maximize value and minimize cost.

One of the University of Alberta Libraries’ key operating principles is sustainability. We consider this principle as we consider our impact on the environment, as well as when we manage and allocate the Libraries’ financial and human resources. Our focus on sustainability has also inspired us to consider how we might apply lean design to the development of new processes and workflows, but also to existing ones to ensure they are sustainable, improve service to our users, help us achieve our library vision and mission, maximize efficiency for ourselves and our users, and reduce costs.


Research & Collections Resource Facility

The University of Alberta is currently using a modified Design-Build process to design and construct a new high density storage facility on its South Campus. Approx. 3.1 million books and book-equivalents currently housed in a rented off-site storage space will be moved into this building, which will also accommodate up to 2 million more additional items. The goals of this facility include provision of appropriate, functional, and welcoming space for collection use by staff, students, and visitors; improved delivery service to our main campus and the University of Alberta’s network of 17 partner institutions; and provision of appropriate space for processing, storing, and digitizing materials in the collection. The presentation will highlight the lean design principles and practices which have been applied to ensure the principles of operational sustainability.


Specialized Library Services Pilot

The University of Alberta Libraries’ Health Sciences branch, Scott Library, launched a 1-year pilot project in September 2015 to provide a new suite of fee-based specialized library services to the Faculty of Nursing. These new services included: systematic review support as a priority service, publishing support with customized reporting, mediated literature searching, current awareness services, and research impact analysis and reporting. This project supported the continued delivery of core library services by subject librarians to the Faculty at no cost while offering specialized services on a priority, fee-for-service basis. This project provided Scott Library, and the Libraries as a whole, an opportunity to meet existing and new, in-depth, priority research needs of faculty; test a team- and fee-based approach to service; and assess its sustainability and scalability for the future.

Green computing: a central IT service perspective

Mr Che-Hoo Cheng, Associate Director, ITSC, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, HK

Green is the global trend for environmental protection and sustainability.  The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is committed to campus sustainability under the coordination of Campus Planning and Sustainability Office (CPSO) with the support of Campus Development Office (CDO), Estate Management Office (EMO), Information Technology Services Centre (ITSC) and other departments.  As central IT department of CUHK running two medium-size data centres serving the whole university, ITSC is obligated to improve energy efficiency with economy of scale for data centre operations.  Building small data centres or server rooms by individual departments are not encouraged because energy efficiency of running them is usually low.  Various measures are in place for that.  Besides running efficient data centre operations, Information Technology (IT) can also help conserve energy in many other ways.  It can be called Green Computing in general.  The speaker will try to cover the topic of Green Computing from central IT service perspective.

Establishing sustainable workflows for cataloging and metadata services

Prof Myung-Ja HAN, Associate Professor/Metadata Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Academic and research libraries have been experiencing a lot of changes over the last two decades. Our users – students, faculty members, and scientists – have become technology savvy and want to discover and use library collections via the web portals instead of coming to the library gateway. To meet these rapidly changing expectations and needs, academic and research libraries are busy identifying new services and areas of improvement. Cataloging and metadata services units in academic and research libraries are no exception. As discovery of library collections largely depends on the quality and design of metadata, the cataloging and metadata services unit should identify new areas of work and establish new roles by building sustainable workflows that utilize available metadata technologies. This paper will discuss a list of challenges that academic libraries’ cataloging and metadata services units have encountered over the years, and ways to build sustainable workflows, including collaborations between units, in and outside of the institution, and in the cloud; tools and technologies, i.e. metadata standards and semantic web technologies; and most importantly, exploration and research. The paper will include examples and use cases in both traditional metadata workflows and experimentation with linked open data that were built upon metadata technologies and will ultimately support the emerging user needs.

Delivering a shared library management system for Wales

Mr Gareth OWEN, Programme Manager, Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum, UK

By August 2016 all 9 universities in Wales, together with the National Library of Wales and all National Health Service libraries in Wales will be using the same cloud hosted next generation library management system and discovery layer, Ex Libris Alma and Primo. These 11 institutions, spread across nearly 90 library locations, have around 600 library staff, 170, 000 customers and approximately 10 million bibliographic records.

This project is being managed under the Wales Higher Education Libraries Forum (WHELF), the partnership of senior librarians across all institutions. This is a large-scale and ambitious project, which has already delivered cost and service benefits to WHELF.

This paper will outline:

1. The background to this project, including the drivers to collaboration

  • the political context in Wales and the UK
  • the technical environment
  • the culture of partnership working across the sector in Wales

2. The sustainability benefits already achieved and work underway to realise further on-going benefits, including

  • Single search across Library collections across Wales (including maintaining and enhancing existing arrangements in place for NHS Libraries in Wales), with the National Library of Wales catalogue and digital collections providing significant benefits to researchers.
  • Fewer system outages from using a more resilient cloud-hosted system
  • Improved workflows leading to service improvements
  • Enabling opportunities for further collaboration through use of the common system, which could include
  • reciprocal arrangements for borrowing and licence management
  • shared management information and real-time analytics leading to improved service delivery

3. On-going work to develop a framework for managing benefits realisation across WHELF to secure the continued benefits of the consortium and continued stakeholder buy-in, including

  • Managing and report on benefits realisation across WHELF shared LMS institutions.
  • Ensuring that benefits realisation is aligned with activities of other working groups (e.g. system development, business change)
  • Identifying, monitoring and managing any associated risks and issues.

The scale and ambition of the project was recognised with the award of ‘Outstanding library team’ to WHELF at the 2015 Times Higher education Leadership and Management Award

Beyond ‘Likes’: an assessment of user engagement in Facebook among Philippine academic libraries

Ms Janice PEÑAFLOR, Collection Development Librarian, De La Salle University, Philippines

Social media has provided libraries with new avenues to connect with their users and promote library resources and services beyond the library walls. While there’s a wide range of platforms to choose from, Facebook remains to be the most popular choice among libraries to establish their online presence. In the Philippines, many libraries are increasingly leveraging Facebook as an outreach tool and to interact with their users in an informal way. However, being online is not enough. It is essential that libraries measure their performance in terms of the level of engagement they were able create with their target audience. Majority of existing literature deals with the use and application of Facebook in libraries and the best way to increase online visibility with this social media application. Studies that investigate on the success rate of libraries in utilizing Facebook are still very few especially in the local setting. This study focuses on assessing the effectiveness of Facebook strategy of selected academic libraries in the Philippines in terms of the level of user engagement they create. It also attempts to analyze the type of content they deliver and the type of posts that generate more interaction amongst users. This paper employs quantitative content analysis to study the posts and the engaged user metrics in the Facebook pages of the libraries selected for this research. Ten academic libraries with the most number of “likes” were selected as subjects of this study. The data used is only limited to what is publicly available on their pages. The results of the study provide a glimpse on the performance of the Philippine academic libraries in relation to the use of Facebook to engage users. It offers significant information on the type of content that works best to create and increase engagement among their audience. The findings may also serve as a benchmark for libraries for best practices in terms of effective strategy to improve Facebook engagement

Digital humanities and librarians: measuring the involvement of libraries and other core contributors to digital humanities through an authorship study

Ms Rebekah Shun Han WONG, Senior Assistant Librarian, Hong Kong Baptist University Library, HK

The collaborative part of digital humanities is not only one of the core values of the field, but also a focus of attention for many individual scholars. Collaborative approaches can draw on the strengths and expertise of different specialists, bringing out the full potential of a research program and resulting in larger and longer-lasting impacts. Specialists involved in digital humanities partnership may include an individual scholar focusing on one area, multiple scholars across disciplines, computer scientists, or digital humanities centers. Many information science scholars and library practitioners advocate that libraries also have an important role to play in digital humanities. Their arguments are usually taken from a theoretical approach and will be summarized in the first part of this paper. Nevertheless, in reality, are libraries one of the major players in the development of digital humanities? The article will try to address this question through three modes of discussion.

A thorough literature review, focusing on library surveys, will present a general idea of library involvement in digital humanities. Because the composition of digital humanities partnerships is found to be culture-specific, the literature review will be grouped by three geographic regions—the United States, Europe, and Asia.

An examination of authorship in digital humanities journals will provide another set of data to understand the involvement of librarians in the area. Several active digital humanities journals that provide clear author information will be analyzed, covering Digital Humanities Quarterly, International Journal of Humanities and Arts Computing, Journal of Digital Humanities, and Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative.

Lastly, an in-depth case study will be provided as supporting evidence. The Hong Kong Baptist University Library has over two years of experience in providing digital humanities support for its faculty members. A number of digital humanities projects have been developed, including text-based databases using OCR technique, corpora, multimedia platforms using 3D images, GIS platforms, data visualization, crowdsourcing systems, etc. This case study will discuss the roles that a library can play in collaborative digital humanities programs.

Theme 4: Sustainable Services

Diversity within unity: developing sustainable information literacy teams

Ms Victoria CAPLAN, Head of Reference and Collection Services, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, HK
Ms Eunice S.P. WONG, Information Literacy Manager, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Library, HK

The question of how institutions can sustainably deliver high volume and high quality information literacy instruction and assessment is often answered “via collaboration and teamwork”. Yet, staff members differ in their approach, knowledge of, and styles of teaching, learning and assessment. This paper will show how one institution allows a diversity of delivery within unified basic principles over the past 3 years in implementing large-scale collaborative team-based teaching.

For twenty years, our Library offered the usual menu of information literacy instructions: orientation programs, course-related classes, database workshops, web-based tutorials, and for a number of years, even a credit-bearing information literacy course. Under the impetus of new 3-3-4 curriculum and changes in the institution’s Post-graduate education, the library began to offer large scale, collaborative & integrated information literacy instruction and assessment via team-based teaching.

This paper describes how one institution [a Government supported PhD granting Research University] launched and now sustains high-volume and high quality collaborative information programs via through team teaching, using both face-to-face and blended methods. It will focus on useful methods (professional development including a Learning Circle,, technological fixes, regular meetings, and sharing of resources) used to channel different team members different strengths, share the work, and allow of individual tailoring of tasks, to make the most of staff members individuality.

Strategies for sustainable services in academic libraries

Ms Dianne CMOR, Deputy University Librarian, Nanyang Technological University Libraries, Singapore

Academic library services, like many sectors in today’s work environments, are under constant pressure to change quickly, expand to meet new needs/expectations, and demonstrate value and impact more clearly.  Of course, this is all necessary with stagnant or shrinking human resources.  Sustainable services must be ‘sustainable’ on a variety of fronts.  They must sustain the value of academic libraries through changing times; they must allow us to do so by adopting highly effective strategies that limit human resource commitments; and they must support continuous staff development in order to feed back into the sustainability lifecycle.

This paper will offer 3 distinctive strategies for sustainable services focusing on:

  1. Daily academic library programming requiring very limited staffing
  2. A brief ‘storytelling’ template to easily and clearly communicate the value of library services/activities to stakeholders
  3. Staff development that is regularized and self-sustaining through dispersed responsibility

These strategies will be introduced as implemented at Nanyang Technological University Libraries, and examined generically as to whether such strategies are feasible, transferable, malleable, and impactful such that other academic libraries with varying staffing structures might adopt them.

Libraries creating sustainable services during community crisis: documenting Ferguson

Ms Makiba FOSTER, Subject Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Dr Meredith EVANS, Associate University Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis, USA

Throughout history various social movements have galvanized the masses to actualize a more inclusive and humane world. It is through libraries and archives that we can revisit those moments in time to better understand the past and hopefully build a better future. Issues of sustainability within libraries and archives collecting traditional materials from important historical events still create somewhat of a challenge, but with advancements of technologies and workflows, we are now better equipped to manage and preserve those items. However, in terms of the historical importance of the content from recent protests against police violence, the question arises of how does one create sustainable processes on materials that are captured on temporal technologies or how does an institution create trust where protestors and activists will freely place their content in a digital archive? Washington University in St. Louis Libraries’ project Documenting Ferguson, is in the midst of tackling some of those challenging questions. We are also trying to understand the implications of a non-traditional social movement’s impact on archival collection building as well as future research, teaching, and learning.

In the summer of 2014 Saint Louis, Missouri was rocked by the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Within hours of Brown’s death, people had taken to the streets in protest of the killing. These protesters came out in full-force with not only traditional protest paraphernalia (signs, chants, prayers, etc.), but they were also were armed with a 21st century perspective represented through their use of smartphones and social media technology. Understanding that this was a historical moment happening in our community, the Libraries quickly established Documenting Ferguson. Documenting Ferguson is a digital archive that seeks to preserve and make accessible the digital media captured and created by community members following the shooting death of Michael Brown, Jr. The freely accessible resource represents diverse perspectives generated by the protests that took place in Ferguson and across the nation.

Our project is an attempt at a more innovative approach to classic collection building. At the center of this new approach are issues of sustainability regarding digital archival collections in addition to efforts of outreach and collaboration. This paper will discuss the challenges of proactively building a non-retrospective digital archive; dealing with the limitations of existing technology to capture social media; and how to create non-traditional collections that have perpetuity. We will also highlight how our efforts to provide this important service during a crisis allowed us to be a leader both within our campus and regional communities, thereby increasing our relevance with both constituents. Finally, as we work to document this social movement, we are curious about the sustainability of the movement itself. In documenting this history, we want to ensure that if the movement wanes, we will have implemented our own sustainable practices to safeguard that individual stories and collective narratives are preserved for current and future library users interested in Ferguson.

Anywhere, anytime, any device – redefining enquiry services at the University of South Australia Library

Ms. Julie HOCKEY, Manager, Academic Library Services, University of South Australia, Australia

Digital technologies are having a pervasive influence on all aspects of library services. Expansion of library virtual spaces, the proliferation of social media, and the explosive growth of mobile devices, tablets and related applications, are combining to significantly alter the way services in academic libraries are provided and consumed. Self-services are now part of modern life, nevertheless the Library needs to ensure that our online presence is not only functional and informative, but also engaging, helping to create an exceptional online library experience. Students in the virtual world want to enjoy a similarly engaging and productive relationship with Library staff, comparable with that of their counterparts in the physical world.

The Library has embarked on an ambitious plan to transform the delivery of enquiry services. It is reconceptualising traditional fixed service desks into a blend of virtual and on-demand services, moving from being reactive to proactive and from working in silos to working in partnerships.

Service desks will be replaced with diverse modes of accessing advice and assistance, such as proactive chat, video conference, screen share capabilities, email, telephone and the UniSA Student app. During peak times staffed library “pop ups” will be set up in library locations most occupied by students. The service model will consist of flexible, customisable library services where clients can engage seamlessly with the Library on demand, regardless of their location and device. At the centre of this model are innovative mobile and wireless technologies which will make library services more visible and accessible in the physical and digital environments. Partnerships will be developed with Information Technology Services to identify synergies and jointly deliver support. This partnership will be leveraged to trial and use innovative technologies such as “beacons” and geographical identifiers to connect students with services.

Following a rigorous review process the Library has chosen to use a cloud based customer service management platform, especially designed for commercial businesses, for its virtual reference services. This decision was informed by the product’s strength in key areas such as proactive chat, reporting and analytics and end user experience.

The new model will bring: improved customer service and experience, improved visibility and discoverability of resources and services, and the ability to effectively demonstrate library value to stakeholders. In addition it will create efficiencies by streamlining workflows and processes. These efficiencies will mean that fewer staff will be needed to provide the service. The anticipated staff savings will make the re-invented enquiry service financially sustainable and position the University of South Australia library as an industry leader for its implementation of innovative digital technologies to deliver high quality customer service that can be accessed anywhere, anytime and on any device.

The “extended and experimenting” library: learning commons service integrations as a strategy for a sustainable and vital library

Ms. Jennifer Gunter KING, Director, Hampshire College, USA

In a 1969 report, “The Extended and Experimenting College Library: Configurations and Functions of the Academic Library in Transition,” Hampshire librarian Robert Taylor reported to the United States Office of Education that “a library can no longer be a sophisticated warehouse storing and dispensing knowledge to students who happen to come through the door.” Instead, the library “must be the center for the creation, use, and distribution of knowledge in a variety of media, communications-oriented rather than book oriented.” Hampshire’s library was designed to be a prototype for the academic library of the future, combining a modest and carefully curated print collection with collaborative partners that include an art gallery, media production facility, and bookstore; functioning as the “nerve center” of the college by connecting electronically with the campus and information processing networks; and playing an active role in the teaching and learning process.

Almost fifty years later, the Harold F. Johnson Library is reinventing itself as Knowledge Commons, bringing Taylor’s ideas into the 21st C. In the Knowledge Commons, the Library will jointly offer services with Information Technology, the Creativity Center, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and these academic support programs: Writing Center, Transformative Speaking Program, Quantitative Resource Center and student advising. These key resources supporting scholarship, creativity and inquiry, will be extended by a mentor program under each highly skilled service area, broadening the library’s capacity to support the curriculum and expanding student engagement in development and dissemination of the library’s tools, collections, and services.  The Knowledge Commons reestablishes the library as the “nerve center” of the campus.

This paper will explore the research, engagement and planning process that supported the library’s exploration of new models and service configurations. The project was an engaged, inclusive, transparent, library-led process. While uncomfortable to enter into a process that is open-ended, the outcome is a program that promises transformation and a shift from a highly decentralized model of academic resources and services, to centralizing academic resources within the library. The Knowledge Commons is an investigation into expanding the library with related, new and emerging academic resources in an effort to make the library a renewable and sustainable resource. It also challenges librarians to continue to flex and co-create the library as a shared resource.

The only constant is change: evolving the library support model for research at the University of Melbourne

Ms Donna MCROSTIE, Associate Director, Research Information Services, University of Melbourne, Australia

Research practice continues to evolve, technology is advancing at a rapid pace and the volume of research data produce is unprecedented in human history. To add complexity to the equation legislative requirements are being introduce to make data and research output available in open ways to be accountable for public funding.

It is within this context the Academic Library is well positioned with its foundation as a keeper and curator of knowledge to support and add value to the research endeavor. While many of the traditional roles in the Library are still relevant it is clear that new skills and capability are required to be responsive (and proactive) to the needs of institutional researchers.

Across the sector new roles have been proposed, such as data librarian and data scientist, whilst in other cases, existing roles have been extended to embrace the growing data challenge e.g. subject / liaison librarians. At the University of Melbourne we have has looked closely at what value we can bring to the research endeavor in a meaningful and sustainable manner. The Library has established the Research Information Management group to consolidate and expand the University Library’s capability and capacity to deliver cohesive and visible research support services.

This paper will look at our journey and approach to responding to the needs of researchers in an academic library. In an environment characterized by resource constraints we have found innovation is a prerequisite to explore alternative modes to deliver services, build distributed capability across our library workforce in new areas of expertise as well a focus on a development of a core group of extreme experts in key areas. Most recently we have introduced new services and support in the areas of digital scholarship, data forensics and data curation services, 3d scanning and move to a collaborative or partnership model of delivery with the research community to enhance our support.

Educating at scale: sustainable library learning at the University of Melbourne Library

Ms Andrea PHILLIPS, Associate Director, Library Liaison and Learning, University of Melbourne, Australia

Libraries face a continuing challenge to provide services of increasingly higher quality that meet the needs of increasing numbers of students and academic in an ever more sophisticated information environment and competitive higher education sphere, and with a workforce that is at best holding steady and is more likely to be decreasing. Quite some challenge, and certainly one experienced at the University of Melbourne Library. In response the Library is pursuing new ways to sustainably deliver high quality and robust services to meet the current and future needs of the University community. This paper discusses the development and implementation of a new model of service delivery for University of Melbourne library learning services. Library learning services provide education for the University’s large and growing cohort of over 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students and graduate researchers. The old service delivery model was determined to be unsustainable – it was reactive, ad hoc, unscaleable and did not provide students with equitable opportunity. It clearly could not withstand the challenges of increasing student numbers, reducing staffing resources and constantly evolving content that needed to be taught to students. In response, the Library has developed a new strategy which explicitly states the need to provide equitable, sustainable, curriculum-based learning that is achieved through collaboration between academics and librarians. Four key strategic goals have been derived to enable these priorities to be achieved – a whole of course approach, embedding in curriculum, scaffolding and eLearning.

As big a piece of work as developing a strategy is, its implementation is an even bigger and more sustained activity. The Library has developed a model to implement the strategy, focussing on three domains – tools (including technology), processes and practices, and workforce skills, knowledge and work culture. This model is enabling the Library to develop the organisational capability necessary to achieve strategic goals and the ultimate aim – high quality, sustainable services which can meet current and emerging needs. The Library has developed a key underpinning tool, the Scholarly Literacy Framework, which not only informs the implementation of all these goals, but also has been adapted as a tool to assess the extent of embedded scholarly literacy education in each key course at the University. It has also conducted innovative staff development programs to fast track the meaningful development of staff skills for quality teaching and particularly for eLearning, and developed processes for the design, production, peer review and management of digital learning resources.

The paper describes the Library’s new strategic approach to library learning and the implementation model. It discusses how they are enabling substantial progress towards newly focussed, revitalised and sustainable library learning service. The paper particularly highlights two key practical aspects of implementation – the Scholarly Literacy Framework and how librarians are using it to work with academics, to design effective learning and to measure progress in embedding library learning in curriculum across a whole course; and the Library’s substantial professional development program to develop a workforce which is confident, able to deliver high quality digital learning and forming an active community of practice. The paper provides a model that other library professionals will find useful when developing their own responses to the common challenge of finding ways to provide services sustainably.

Sustainable library services for all

Ms JJ PIONKE, Assistant Professor and Applied Health Sciences Librarian, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

In general, libraries do a disservice to people with disabilities in how libraries provide access to not only the buildings and materials, but to the services that are offered. This paper will explore the need to not only implement a new service philosophy through the lens of disability theory but also highlight a pilot project that aims to create research services that are tailored to the individual needs of people with disabilities in a sustainable and scalable way.

Developing eLearning skills in the library: an evaluation

Dr Steven YATES, eLearning Coordinator, Monash University Library, Australia
Ms Amy HAN, eLearning Officer, Monash University Library, Australia


Monash University Library has embraced eLearning as a strategy in its teaching of information research and learning skills within the university. This paper explores the sustainability of this strategy through an evaluation of eLearning related work in the organisation and concludes with recommendations for sustaining and improving practice.


This evaluation uses a mixed methods methodology. Quantitative and qualitative data is obtained from surveys, usage statistics, records of eLearning resources, focus groups, interviews and case studies for an enriched understanding of practices.


Findings suggest that library staff have gained knowledge and skills indicating a sustainable strategy. However, further work is required to sustain staff development and support staff requirements in the long term.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited by its wide focus. Although this is mostly resolved through the use of multiple data collection methods, the thoroughness of the evaluation may have suffered while attempting to be comprehensive.

Practical implications

The conclusions of this evaluation as well as methods of its execution can be shared with other institutions wishing to produce eLearning resources in a sustainable and effective manner.


Monash University Library develops its eLearning resources in-house, whereas many other institutions outsource. This paper explores the effectiveness of the implementation of this strategy based on evidence discussed in the paper.

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last modified 06 December 2016